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Workstation Backups Made Easy

Difficultly finding a secure, reliable, low-cost offsite backup solution for your home or business workstation? I've fiddled around with all the usual solutions: NT Backup scheduled job out to a USB drive, Linux Samba file server on my network, periodic CD burns, etc. None of these solutions truly hit the mark for my needs: the job failed, I missed some files, I hadn't performed the manual backup in a while, etc.

Mozy.com to the rescue. This free (2GB), online service and application utilizes encryption to regularly post your local files up to a Mozy server. I run the application on my work laptop and one of my desktops at home. There's a 1:1 limit on email address to Mozy account but I have several addresses I can pull from.

Downsides include the size limitation, agreeing to accept a weekly marketing email from Mozy, and some firewall difficulties. Regarding size, 2GB is perfect for me. Primarily, I want my wife's and my work files and our family photos backed up. We're only at 400MB. And, if I turn others onto Mozy, I can earn additional space. If I need lots of additional space, I can pay $5/month for 30GB. Not a bad deal. Besides, do you really need to back up all those MP3s you didn't exactly pay for?

I'm usually adverse to marketing but a weekly email is nothing to ask in exchange for this free service. I won't necessarily read it (I could filter it out as spam...) but, hey, free is free.

Finally, because I'm using the free version of Zone Alarm Firewall, I'm unable to permit Mozy to punch through when locked by the screen saver (this is a feature in the paid version). No worries though as I'm on the workstations daily and can kick off a manual backup (and, Mozy alerts me if I've not backed up in the past day-this reminder feature is user-configurable).

Overall, Mozy is a great service/software. There's no longer a need for me to purchase media (USB, hard drives), maintain backup software, or schedule Windows tasks/jobs. The price is right and the software highly configurable and user-friendly. I'll be recommending Mozy to all my friends and family.

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